In this sub-section we will be looking at ‘Noble Types of Poor Women’: not necessarily poor in conduct but in wealth. These ladies, wonderful examples of godliness, will be in our pages and on our minds for many a time to come.
Here is one of their stories.
In the year 1799, a tenant of John Way, Esq., Haskiton, in Suffolk, died, leaving a widow and fourteen children, the eldest a girl under fourteen years of age. The tenant had rented fourteen acres of pasture land, on which he kept two cows, which with a little furniture and clothing was all the property he left. A home in the neighbourhood offered to take the seven youngest children off her[the widows] hands; but with great anxiety of mind she refused to part with any of her children, and said she would rather die in working to maintain them all. She then declared that if her landlord would allow her to keep on the farm she would undertake to bring up all the children without any assistance. She did so: the first year she occupied it[the farm] rent free; but afterward, although she had a benevolent landlord, she needed no more liberality. She brought up all the children; every year she paid her rent regularly of her own accord – every year after the first. At length, as all her children were able to get their own living, the widow gave up the land, which had afforded her the means of supporting her family under a calamity which must have otherwise driven both her and and her children to the workhouse. And what an expenditure did this intrepid and noble-minded mother save the parish too, by her right and dignified conduct!